After nearly twenty years on the comics pages, the gang from Charles Schulz's Peanuts strip finally came to the big screen in 1969. A Boy Named Charlie Brown was the first feature for Chuck, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Sally, Schroeder and the rest, but their animated acting chops had been well-honed by TV specials like the holiday perennial A Charlie Brown Christmas, first aired in 1965.
The expansion to feature length gives each member of the Peanuts gang a chance to perform his or her classic bit: Linus loses and finds his security blanket, Snoopy dances his toe-tapping happy jig, Schroeder play piano, Lucy yanks the football away when Charlie Brown tries to kick it and Charlie Brown himself manages the gangís woefully inept sandlot baseball team. The main story has loveable loser Charlie Brown somehow making the National Spelling Bee, where heíll either be a hero or a goat (we'll give you three guesses which).
The film faithfully translated the comic stripís humor to the big screen, adding a string of memorable songs that earned an Oscar nomination. A popular choice in kiddie matinees for years to come, A Boy Named Charlie Brown led to three more Peanuts features and a continued string of TV specials.